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Top 5 Recommendations for Handling Food Restrictions at Your Event.

Written By: Desmond Lomas

I often reflect on the important job faced by meeting professionals and meeting venues to ensure attendees are served food that will be safe for them. As a person with both gluten and dairy intolerances I have noticed that some food service operations handle food restrictions with ease but some still struggle. Here are 5 tips for a meeting professional to consider.

  1. Give your attendees with food restrictions clearly identifiable cards that can be put in front of them at their table.  In many banquet operations, different staff members might be involved in the serving of your table and it becomes frustrating having to repeat your restrictions to each server as they attempt to put a plate in front of you.
  2. Design your menus to incorporate foods which do not contain the most common allergens among your participants.
  3. Introduce attendees with allergies to the buffet attendants so that they may be directed to the appropriate choices. The venue should have everything properly labelled as well.
  4. Dedicate part of the pre-event meeting with the venue to discuss how they manage dietary restrictions and avoid potential cross-contamination.  And ask if the facility has an epi-pen on site in case of emergency?
  5. An attendee with restrictions is always the last line of defense.  Inform them what you have already arranged with the venue and see if they are satisfied. They should not let their guard down and double check with their server that the food is safe for them.
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